PhillyDH@Penn Storify

To capture the energy, enthusiasm, and excitement that ensued at PhillyDH@Penn (and in the following weeks!), Mitch Fraas and I put together a Storify to re-cap the day. Our story highlights tweets, Instagram pictures, blog posts, and links to sites and materials from workshops and unconference sessions. Check out our story and let us know what you think!


Missing Mac Adapters

Thanks to everyone for coming out yesterday! I was under the weather so didn’t participate in most of the events, but from what I saw it looked like a lot of fun.

We are missing two mac adapters. They are both Mini DisplayPort to VGA Adapters (Here is what they look like). They are both tagged: MDP2VGA_02 and MDP2VGA_03. If you happened to walk off with one, please contact me (

Thank you!

Dot Porter

Collaboration between museums & libraries

Discussion included the problem of library & archival staff interacting with collections staff, due to the different taxonomies used by archivists, librarians, & catalogers & registrars. Each specialty has its own language, and uses different software. Fusing them is also complicated due to different attitudes regarding the appropriate use of collections, “Librarians share, archivists are learning to share; museum curators primarily want to protect the objects in their collections”.

However, large digital projects requires collaboration, often because of the need to raise large amounts of money—projects that involve collaborative between different institutions are often favored by granting institutions.

Incentive for collaboration between libraries and museums must come from the directors or deciders from each institution.

RDA—Research Description App—new software which may work as the software of choice for all three, if there is willingness to change “the way we do things here” and learn new software.

Are taxonomic-free descriptions possible? (Much discussion; consensus was no, particularly for science museums.)

Several people spoke about the need for dynamic modes of digitizing content. Many agreed that collaboration will become more prevalent as technology evolves and millennials (who expect content to be available/open-source) influence or are the policy makers.

A good model for successful collaboration between a library & museum is Wellcome Library (London, England);; see Digitisation at the Wellcome Library.

Copyright issues also complicate sharing digital materials; many objects can be displayed but not presented online. However, placing an image online also has shown to raise its value, i.e., reproductions of an image that becomes familiar sell for more.

Action should include getting discussion at national conferences about the need & value of museum–library collaborations, to facilitate research and access to diverse materials.

Our group was an interesting mix—various disciplines & range of experience. The discussions and questions were very lively.


Bring Out Your Dead: How emerging technology can (or can’t) transform memorials and biography

Festschriften, memorials, biographical projects — all precede the web, all continue in blended form.  How can we use emerging tech to memorialize, investigate, remember the subjects of our research and our collections?  Can we partner across institutions and geographical boundaries to create fuller, broader, more complicated memorials?  What can we learn from family history research?  Is anyone even interested in biography any longer?

Come share your research or ideas on comparative biography, personal archives, capturing legacies.


Session notes here, thanks to Erin McLeary.

What would a SLAC DH Consortium Look Like?

teamwork kids

Link to public google doc notes for session here.

I’d like to propose a workshop for brainstorming what a small liberal arts Digital Humanities Consortium would look like. Tri-Co Digital Humanities, hosted at Bryn Mawr, Swarthmore and Haverford, is a great example. I want to extend this model to include small non-elite private colleges and places that focus generally on undergraduate education. Issues we could talk about include:


  • What levels of interest in the digital humanities are there in our institutions?
  • How is DH in our institutions different from DH as practiced at R1s, and what challenges do we face? How can we overcome these challenges together?
  • How could we share resources and support?
  • What would be the best way to start a collaborative framework?
  • Are there opportunities for teaching across institutions? Would people be interested in contributing to multi-institutional projects?
  • What are some best practices for working across different SLACs?
  • How do we identify possible collaborators across institutions?

Image Credit

Unconference Session of Sound?

If convened, the Unconference Session of Sound will be an opportunity to consider the role of sound in the Digital Humanities.

All participants appearing at this session are characters. Any resemblance to the Year of Sound: Theme Year 2013-2014 is purely coincidental. Any grants awarded at the Unconference Session of Sound are fictitious.








here are the session notes:

1. Sound for video (lavalier alternatives) – Supercardioid for indoor, headset mic, boundary mic on table. Still important to get as close to speaker(s) as possible. Also, monitor audio during shoot, lower noise floor in room when possible. Post option: audio expander.
Boundary mics:

2. DH sound projects (perceived lack of) – some examples:
Penn Sound
West Philly Music

3. “Sounds of the modern world” (soundscape, phonography, field recording) – some examples:
Sounds of Europe
Sound Transit
Sound Places
Sounds of London
Steven Feld
Pierre Schaeffer

4. Bells
The Liberty Bell
Sound of Bells
Bell acoustics

5. Exhibitions – performance vs. installed audio
Parabolic speaker

6. Recreation/imagining of historical sounds/music, pre-recording
Emma Dillon

7. Organisation/metadata/archiving (at least 44.1k/16bit WAV)
LoC-physical objects

8. Editing

5 fictitious grants were awarded – thanks to all applicants.

Session Proposal-

Would anyone be interested in discussing Listservs during the unconference sessions?  I am particularly interested in management/moderation of listservs and discussion of overall usefulness in terms of networking and spreading news/information.  Also, if anyone has any experience starting one, I would love to hear some information about that!  Looking forward to meeting you tomorrow.



Digital Humanities projects/tools for on-site patrons

Recently, my colleagues and I have been thinking a lot about the digital content we produce and how to integrate this content into the on-site patron experience.  By their very nature, digital humanities projects and tools can seem segregated from the on-site patron experience, designed to reach a remote, far-flung audience that may never visit your institution.  But, as we invest more time and resources into digital content, is it possible to integrate digital resources into the on-site experience? I propose a session to explore this question, brainstorm strategies for bridging the digital divide, and share war stories from the trenches.  Topics of discussion could include identifying patron needs related to digital content, tools and resources required for on-site use, and educating non-digital staff on the use of digital materials, as well as friendly debate on the prudence and feasibility of such endeavors.